Our global health cohort at OSU had a variety of life experiences and talents, but in our diversity we were unified in our desire for equity in health both locally and globally.
Beth’s life has been shaped by her birth in Burundi in the heart of Eastern Africa. Her physician father, then doing medical work in the community and a nearby refugee camp, delivered her in a small rural area near the border with Tanzania. “As children, we were allowed access to this world and it influenced us,” she recalls. “Both in Burundi and in Oregon, we experienced the wonders of nature, whether trekking up to the hyena caves and camping or hiking almost every waterfall in Oregon. Traveling to remote places was part of my growing up period and that’s where my global vision for health and enjoyment of new experiences was incubated.”
It’s a vision that led Beth to complete her Master of Public Health at Oregon State University and to her current job as an AIDS program coordinator for Medical Teams International in Portland. Next year, she will move to Mozambique to work with Medical Teams International partner Kuwangisana.
“Our team ensures that research is done accurately and programs are run effectively. After learning what the people need and want, we partner with community organizations to achieve their goals for eradicating AIDS. We’re really providing technical solutions for projects so they can flourish on their own.” Beth says her measure of success will be “when my job isn’t needed anymore.”
A mother of two grown children, Beth finds inspiration in reading, such as the book Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder about Deo, a Burundian man who escaped from the civil war, finished his medical degree abroad, and returned to start a community hospital.